HAMMONDCARE AT HOME | Making sure no one misses out on Christmas

While Christmas is a time of joy to the world for many, it can also be a time when isolation is more pronounced for those who are older, unwell, less mobile.

Independent Christian charity HammondCare at Home South-West are ensuring all their clients share in the joy of Christmas.

Choirs carolling in the streets and shops is less common these days but the HammondCare team travels to clients to sing Christmas carols in their homes.

Managers, pastoral-care co-ordinators and support staff don Christmas outfits and visit clients. "It's part of our mission in action to care for the whole person and many older people, particularly, love singing or listening to carols and enjoying Christmas festivities," area manager Annette Abblot said.

"We've been doing this for some years and we never cease to be delighted by the big smiles, happy singing and tears of joy we see on faces.

"For some clients with dementia, who may not often verbalise, we see their faces light up when the carols start and sometimes they join in singing which is a special moment for us all."

The HammondCare team also have a special Christmas office display. The community, including aged-care residents, clients and families, are invited to view the spectacular decorations. Managers and HammondCare College staff dress festively and provide refreshments.

"Christmas is a time for getting together and celebrating and our team use their own time to turn our entire office into a Christmas wonderland so we can share it with the community," Annette said.

While many older people will be with their families and friends on Christmas Day, an increasing number may be on their own for Christmas. HammondCare at Home makes special arrangements to ensure these clients are visited and have a Christmas meal available.

With HammondCare's residential-care services, also based at Hammondville, hot meals are ordered and delivered for free to clients who'd otherwise miss out on Christmas lunch. And if they'd like company, two meals are provided and the care worker will stay to celebrate where possible.

"We try to ensure as many of our care staff can celebrate Christmas Day with their families but we're mindful of clients who may be on their own. It's our goal to make sure no older person is on their own for Christmas Day."

  • HammondCare at Home's home-care packages and Commonwealth Home Support Services: 1800 826 166.